The secret of Viñales' success at Misano: races with Rossi on 'dirt track'

The secret of Viñales' success at Misano: races with Rossi on 'dirt track'

The Spanish breaks his spell, wins his first test of the course, followed by Mir and Espargaró, and gets fully into the fight for the title

The secret of Viñales' success at Misano: races with Rossi on 'dirt track'

Maverick Viñales was lamenting these days because he did not understand what happened on Sundays, why he dominated practice and in the race he was “a cone for the other pilots”. “I go from being a beast on Saturdays to a kitten,” he said, almost closer to pissing than joking. Since coming to Yamaha three seasons ago, he has been struggling with the grip on the rear wheel, changing his style to suit the bike. “I am always a slave to the same.” This weekend, a full-time beast, he crossed the finish line first, putting his finger to his lips.

It was not a message to the critics, who have not been lacking among those who indicated him as a candidate after Márquez's injury . “I was telling myself to shut up. I needed to calm down a bit. I always want to be in front and I get very frustrated when the races don't go the way I want,” he confessed. And he had reasons. 14th place in Brno; 10th in Austria starting first; having to jump off the motorcycle at 200 km / h due to a brake problem; 6th last week, again from pole. Beast on Saturday, kitty on Sunday.

That is why he made two decisions. The first, released all that accumulated tension. A few days ago, taking advantage of the fact that the World Championship was staying in Italy, Maverick stopped by the famous Ranch that Valentino Rossi , an old farmhouse about 15 kilometers from Misano where he trains with the pilots of his academy and sometimes some rivals. Marc Márquez, when the relationship was different, it also happened there. Viñales got off his steam racing with Rossi on the dirt track circuit.

The other is to focus on improving the front end of your Yamaha. “I want to ride braking late and stopping the bike . Be more aggressive. Not to be a slave. This time they were right with the choice of tires, they found the best setup for the start of the race and Viñales, who in the last races had seen his rivals pass him hopelessly in the first laps, managed to hold Pecco's head pulse Bagnaia.

The Italian is one of eight drivers who train with Rossi at his Tavullia academy. Misano is his second home. He is still on crutches due to the broken leg he suffered in Brno, but a week ago he finished second and on Saturday he had broken the circuit record before Viñales did it again. When he took advantage of a Maverick error to put himself first and began to shoot, the Catalan had reason to think that victory could have escaped him there.

The rent came to exceed the second and a half, but Viñales endured the stretch. Perhaps the grip was also influenced by the fact that the rain left the Moto2 race in 10 laps, another of those reasons that he has pointed to at some time looking for the slump on Sundays. This time he held out first and scratched later, biting tenths off Bagnaia's advantage until the Italian, with soft tires, finished on the ground in the sixth corner, the same one in which he had fallen on Saturday. Viñales was there to make cash.

Spanish triplet

With this victory, the first of the season, Maverick Viñales is fully involved in the fight for a World Cup that does not find favorites. In seven races there are already six different winners. The Catalan placed second with 83 points, tied with Fabio Quartararo, just one behind Andrea Dovizioso and only three above Joan Mir. The Mallorcan once again completed a great comeback in the final laps: he started 11th and finished second. A week ago, he started 8th and finished third. What will be when it works also on Saturdays.

Pol Espargaró, third thanks to a penalty to Quartararo on the last lap, completed the first Spanish podium since last season's Spanish Grand Prix, with Márquez, Rins and Viñales again in the drawer. Much more you have to go back to find the last time you had to wait so long for the first Spanish victory of the course. In 2007 Dani Pedrosa did it in the tenth. Viñales has done it in the seventh.

In Moto2, the victory went to a home rider, Enea Bastianini, who beat Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini in a race reduced by rain and the red flag. And in Moto3 Romano Fenati took advantage of a mistake by Vietti on the last lap to hunt down the win. The leadership holds in the hands of Catalan Albert Arenas, but his cushion on Ai Ogura is already only two points. Of course, next week it's time to run at home.

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